In the past several years, the view of corporate data has changed. It used to be closely guarded, with the IT department acting as gatekeepers deciding who could access it and who couldn’t. Moreover, employees were not able to analyze the data on their own – the IT department handled that, too.
While corporate data is still viewed as highly valuable, there is a shift in opinion about who should be able to access it and analyze it. Changing corporate culture now values broad access to data and analytics tools, and as a result, employees have better problem-solving tools and can improve their firm’s results.
The Cultural Shift: The Transition to a Data-Driven Corporate Culture
What has happened that has led to an emphasis on greater access to data and analytics tools?
For a start, business intelligence solutions have changed. Years ago, it made sense to invest in technology that would cull structured information from a single source, because no one used more than one data repository.
However, today’s organizations generate multiple types of data and consume it from more than one source. Legacy BI systems don’t fit the bill; they can only handle structured data, and it needs to be from a single source.
In addition, traditional BI tools weren’t meant for average business users. They were designed for use by the IT department. So, every time a business user (say, someone in the sales department) had a question, a member of the IT team would need to stop whatever he or she was doing and run a query. The process was highly inefficient. Given that every department (including IT) now has to do more with less, it simply doesn’t make sense to add an extra burden on an already-stressed business unit.
Today’s Business Environment: Driven by Data
Thanks to advances in technology, data analytics no longer needs to be an IT-intensive process. Instead, it’s in the hands of business users outside of the IT department.
To get a better sense of how the latest BI solutions empower business users, we’ll illustrate with an example:
Let’s say that Monica from the sales team wants to know how many units of a particular product have been shipped.
In the old days, she would have to go to the IT department and ask them to run the query for her. Monica may have been required to wait because the IT staff was taking care of other pressing tasks or her query required special coding.
Fast forward to today: Monica can access the data analytics platform herself, without help from the IT staff. With a few clicks, she generates a stunning visualization that provides a simple and elegant illustration of the number of shipped units of a given product.
As Monica reviews the visualization, she realizes that this particular product isn’t selling very well. In fact, continuing to invest in manufacturing the product is actually causing the company to lose money. Monica shares this information with her manager, who then tells other decision makers.
By putting information as well as the ability to analyze that data in the hands of people who need it the most (your employees), they can solve problems you might not even know you had. In the process, their problem solving saves you money.
At Decisive Data, we have the knowledge and tools to help you learn more about how you can empower your employees to be creative and figure out solutions to issues. Contact us today. We have the solutions you need.
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